'If you ask me, Sarah Huckabee Sanders got off easy,' Meyers quipped
Seth Meyers couldn’t sit back and let President Donald Trump and the White House Correspondents’ Association denounce his old Late Night writer and comrade, Michelle Wolf.
The comedian received a mixed bag of criticism after she hosted the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday, mainly for jokes made about press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ smoky eye being created from the ashes of facts and, more generally, criticizing the current administration. “Michelle Wolf doesn’t need anyone to defend her, but she’s our friend,” Meyers said on Monday’s Late Night. So he did.
“If you ask me, Sarah Huckabee Sanders got off easy,” he added.
When Trump called Wolf “filthy” on social media, Meyers countered with, “You are right! She is filthy and she is mean, which is what we love about her. Those are wonderful qualities for comedians and terrible qualities for world leaders.”
When WHCA President Margaret Talev said Wolf’s monologue “was not in the spirit” of their mission to celebrate the First Amendment and free press, Meyers reminded them, “You hired her!”
He noted how Talev initially called Wolf “a great friend to the WHCA” for “her truth-to-power style” and valuing “the First Amendment and strong, independent journalism.” In light of the backlash, the organization distanced itself from Wolf.
“That’s like a parent sending an email saying, ‘Yesterday’s birthday was meant to celebrate Kevin turning 6 years old. Unfortunately, the stripper’s dance routine was not in the spirit of the party,'” Meyers joked.
“So, here’s the good news,” he continued, “Michelle Wolf has a new show premiering on Netflix May 27. It’s called The Break and based on what happened Saturday, you can be sure that it will be great because she’s not gonna waste any time trying to decide when it is or isn’t proper to make fun of people in power who lie to us on a daily basis.”
Other late-night personalities spoke out in support of Wolf, including The Daily Show host Trevor Noah. Wolf also served as a writer for Comedy Central’s late-night show before heading to Netflix with The Break.
“Comedy isn’t just about jokes, it’s also about being polite and respectful of authority,” Noah, oozing with sarcasm, joked.
“It’s not funny because Michelle should’ve had the decency not to comment on women’s appearances in any way shape or form,” he added, referring to criticism Wolf received over her Sanders quips. “She’s a comedian for God’s sake, not the president.” What proceeded was a video montage of Trump demeaning women like Rosie O’Donnell, Hillary Clinton, and Miss Universe contestant Alicia Machado.
Noah also took aim at Sanders and Kellyanne Conway. “I know that comedy is hard to analyze and set rules for, but Trump’s people get it,” he said. “Joking is no excuse if a comedian is insulting the president. It’s only an excuse when the insults are coming from the president.”
Cut to another montage, this one of Sanders and Conway defending insults flung by Trump as “jokes.”
“Maybe you guys should get a sense of humor and try it some time,” Sanders was filmed telling a room full of reporters.
“Get a sense of humor, snowflakes!” Noah mocked. “Now get out of the way, we have to put up this plaque in memory of the brave people roasted to death by Michelle Wolf. Hashtag #NeverForget.”
Watch the full videos above.